Cartilage Free Captain is reviewing each of Spurs' first team players and evaluating their season. The series continues today with Tottenham Hotspur defender Younes Kaboul.
Yellow cards: 2
Minutes played: 1,350
What went right?
Younes Kaboul entered the season expecting to be the rock in Tottenham's defensive line alongside Jan Vertonghen. He was coming back from a significant injury but had a few monster years with Spurs, had been with the club a long time, knew the players, and was even named club captain by Mauricio Pochettino. And for a while, things went decently well. Kaboul started, captained, and played 90' in each of Tottenham's first 11 games, and looked at least competent doing it, even through a stretch that included heavy losses to Liverpool and Manchester City. While Kaboul might not have been the defensive beast that he was a couple of seasons ago and pre-injury, he still looked like he would be a good defensive option. You were supposed to bring BALANCE to the club, not leave it in darkness!
What went wrong?
Everything imploded after the Stoke City debacle. Nobody's really sure what happened between Kaboul and Mauricio Pochettino. Most intimated some kind of huge dust-up and confrontation that split the club, with Kaboul, Adebayor, and Etienne Capoue on one side and Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris, and others on the other. Whatever it was, it resulted in Kaboul being the only Tottenham player to have his own Cabal, and it was enough that Kaboul never played for Tottenham Hotspur in the league again. He only had a handful of appearances the rest of the season, including an FA Cup match against Burnley where he visibly argued with Vertonghen. And in those few appearances, he wasn't great, and was barely even good. His last appearance for Tottenham was in January's 2-1 FA Cup loss to Leicester City. He didn't even go on the post-season tour.
We may never know what it was that caused his exile from the first team, but Younes Kaboul's time with Tottenham Hotspur is almost assuredly over. Even if he's not sold, barring a complete injury catastrophe he won't feature for Spurs again in the league, he'll certainly be stripped of his captaincy and will continue to be exiled to the fringes of the squad until his contract expires. Spurs will be trying to offload him this summer, and he's already been linked to clubs from Watford to Besiktas. It's a rather ignominious end to what was a very promising career that was stymied by injuries and internal conflict. In the end, Kaboul in a China Shop tried to throw his weight around and only ended up breaking his own dishes.
Grade: 1 Chirpy